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New Hampshire Stalking Laws

Note: If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or your local police department, or the New Hampshire Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-866-644-3574.

Stalking is not a single occurrence, but is generally defined as a pattern of malicious behavior -- such as showing up at someone's house (uninvited) and shouting obscenities -- that causes apprehension or fear in another person. State stalking statutes define what constitutes a criminal act, how the crime is charged, penalties, and guidelines for the issuance of restraining orders. Penalties range from fines and restraining orders (for the protection of the victim) to prison sentences for particularly serious violations or repeat offenses. Most stalking cases are associated with domestic violence or conflicts between romantic partners. For instance, repeatedly showing up at your ex-girlfriend's workplace just to intimidate her (even if no words are spoken) may be considered stalking.

When someone makes a valid stalking (or domestic violence) complaint, the court may order protective order requiring the alleged stalker to avoid all contact for a specified period of time. See Stalking and Domestic Violence and Domestic Violence Restraining Order FAQs to learn more.

New Hampshire Stalking Law at a Glance

The definition of stalking in New Hampshire includes violation of a restraining order (which only has to occur once, since it is considered part of a pattern if the restraining order already has been ordered). Stalking is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, but subsequent offenses within a seven-year period are charged as a Class B felony.

See the following chart for additional details about New Hampshire's stalking laws. See FindLaw's Domestic Violence section for related articles and resources.

Code Section 633:3-a
Stalking Defined as Any of the following: (A) Engaging in course of conduct targeted at specific person and causing fear of personal safety (B) violating restraining order
Punishment/Classification Class A misdemeanor
Penalty for Repeat Offense If 2nd or subsequent within 7 years: Class B felony
Arrest or Restraining Order Specifically Authorized by Statute? May arrest without warrant if has probable cause to believe suspect's acts violate statute within 6 hours. Restraining order issued upon filing of petition and proof by preponderance.
Constitutionally Protected Activities Exempted? Yes

Note: State laws are subject to change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, the enactment of newly signed legislation, and other means. You may want to contact a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney or domestic violence attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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